Review: THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN [and] A SPARROW IN TEREZIN / by Kristy Cambron

The butterfly and the violin, / by Kristy Cambron (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel)
Zondervan          ISBN 9781401690595

A sparrow in Terezin, / by Kristy Cambron (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel)
Zondervan     ISBN 9781401690618
Adult     Rating:     5

butterfly and violin sparrow in terezin

Kristy Cambron presents two World War II historical novels with alternating points of view. In The Butterfly and the Violin, a contemporary woman and high-ranking Nazi officer’s daughter are connected to a painting. In A Sparrow in Terezin, the art dealer shares a connection with an imprisoned Polish reporter in Terezin.

In The Butterfly and the Violin, art dealer Sera James searches for a Holocaust era portrait she remembers seeing in her youth. She meets wealthy businessman William Hanover who is also looking for the painting.

Together they unravel the story behind the painting of violinist Adele von Bron, who trades her privileged life for Auschwitz after being caught smuggling Jews out of Vienna. Forced to play the violin, Adele maintains her faith and finds hope in her art, even in the worst of circumstances.

The Butterfly and the Violin is a juxtaposition of Adele’s life in Auschwitz and Sera’s contemporary life. Although Adele and Sera are separated by decades, both suffer from heartbreak and broken dreams until they find God’s peace. William and Sera also find a second chance at love at the end of their search.

In A Sparrow in Terezin, William is unjustly accused of a crime and Sera tries to help prove his innocence by reaching out to an estranged member of William’s family. In doing so, she uncovers the story of Kaje Makovsky, a Polish reporter who lived in London during the Blitz.

When Kaje hears of the Jews being killed, she returns to Prague to help her family escape, only to be imprisoned in Terezin. Kaje saves some children from Terezin on their way to Auchwitz — including a little girl who will play a role in William’s family history. Both women fight to protect all they hold dear, even at personal cost. They discover that God provides strength to weather the fiercest storms.

Cambron weaves the multiple plot lines and characters expertly. Both character and plot development are intricate and complex. Both books include a reading group guide, as well as an author’s note.

Recommended for adult collections in public libraries. Fans of historical fiction will be delighted to discover this new author. The Butterfly and the Violin is a nominee for 2015 Inspy Debut Novel.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. 

–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.

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